Several weeks ago, Puritan was thrust into the spotlight as a critical manufacturer in the supply chain for COVID-19 testing supplies. This is because we are one of only two suppliers worldwide who produce the specialized swab CDC recommends for nasopharyngeal sample collection. Demand for this swab and its transport medium skyrocketed, quickly exhausting supplies across the country.
Suddenly, national and regional news outlets from NPR to Forbes were reaching out to Puritan’s spokesperson Timothy Templet for more information. Here’s a partial list of articles if you’d like to read more about the coverage:
- Modern Healthcare: Coronavirus Sample Collection Tool Shortages Will be Short-Lived, According to Suppliers
- NPR.org: Testing Swabs Run in Short Supply as Makers Try to Speed Up Production
- NPR “All Things Considered”: Swab Manufacturer Works to Meet ‘Overwhelming’ Demand
- Maine Biz: Maine Biotech Companies Stepping Up, and Hiring, in COVID-19 Fight
- The Street’s “Off the Tape” segment: Puritan Medical Products
- Bloomberg News: Swabs, Stat!
As our loyal customers, we also want to provide you with a round-up of the coverage and more details about our response to the COVID-19 testing shortage.
How Puritan Is Rising to the Challenge
Puritan is one of only two manufacturers of nasopharyngeal flocked swabs. As a trusted source for testing supplies, Puritan was contacted by government officials several weeks ago about our ability to produce as many swabs for the country as we possibly can. We immediately ramped up our capacity and are currently making over 1 million swabs for COVID testing a week. Our incredible team of dedicated employees are working 10-hour shifts 7 days a week. We’re also quickly hiring more than 30 temporary employees, helping to re-employ laid-off teachers and manufacturing workers and provide jobs to out-of-school college students.
Another step we’re taking is shifting manufacturing lines and reconfiguring equipment to produce even more swabs. We currently make more than 1,200 different types of swabs and collection devices for a variety of industries, normally producing over 12 million swabs per day. We’re rapidly redirecting some of these manufacturing capabilities to meet the need for COVID-19 testing materials. This will result in inventory and order delays for our other products. We ask for your patience as together we get through this national crisis.
Continuing to Meet Ongoing Demand
In recent days, the FDA has adjusted its standards on COVID-19 testing materials to meet unprecedented demand. You can find a list of alternative testing materials here. However, testing needs are increasing, which puts continued pressure on Puritan to produce as many swabs as possible. Our employees are committed to doing their part in the fight against COVID-19 and are rising to meet rigorous production output each and every day.